Mistakes in exegesis and eisegesis

There are many mistakes about exegesis.

One of the commonest is to substitute eisegesis for exegesis.

One’s own opinion of the meaning of a text is not exegesis.

Most scholars agree about the importance of determining the intention of the original penman as a basis for exegesis, but beyond this they do not agree.  Some preachers ignore the original intention of the penman and simply supply their own ideas; the latter is eisegesis, reading into or putting into the text one’s own ideas.

One of the mistakes of modern exegesis is to confine the meaning of Scripture to the human author’s intentions and understanding.  This is wrong because:

1. it is often difficult to determine the author’s intention, especially for books which were written anonymously.  This shows it is not essential to know the author’s intention.

2. 1Pe 1:10-12 shows us that the biblical penmen did not fully understand what they wrote when inspired by the Spirit of Christ.  To confine ourselves to their understanding of what they wrote is not sufficient.  This does not give the full meaning of the Scripture text.

3. The true Author of Scripture is the Holy Spirit.  Exegesis must aim at His intention in recording Scripture in all its varied interactions throughout the whole corpus of inspired Scripture.

There is therefore a specifically Christian exegesis of Scripture, and of Old Testament Scripture in particular.  Jesus taught this to His disciples and preached it to the people so that they marvelled at His authority, not speaking like the scribes Mat 7:28-29.

Other exegetical mistakes include Rationalistic exegesis, Cultural exegesis and Celebrity exegesis, to be discussed in other blogposts.


A summary of exegetical mistakes can be viewed here.

8 Jul 2017 academic exegesis.

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